The Organisation Of Eastern Caribbean States has signed a US$6.3 million Grant Agreement for the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP).
Participating Eastern Caribbean countries are Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.
The Agreement, signed during the World Bank’s Annual Meetings at its headquarters in Washington DC by Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS Commission; and Ms. Tahseen Sayed Khan, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, will support Eastern Caribbean countries to preserve and strengthen resilience of coastal and marine resources, and implement regional policies to stimulate blue growth.
In light of the recent devastating impacts of hurricanes on OECS Member States, and in other states and territories of the Caribbean Region, Commander David Robin, Programme Coordinator of Ocean Governance and Fisheries at the OECS Commission, made a presentation on the theme Unlocking Ocean Wealth in Support of Sustainable Growth and Resilience: Strengthening Ocean Governance in the Eastern Caribbean.
Commander Robin also outlined CROP’s support towards the implementation of the OECS Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy, (ECROP), which is a global best practice in regional co-operation for the transition to a sustainable ocean economy (a blue economy).
The signing of the Grant Agreement comes to fruition following negotiations on July 12, 2017, and approval of the Project by the Executive Directors of the World Bank on September 25, 2017. The Project was officially declared effective on October 18, 2017.
Specifically, CROP will:
- Support the implementation of regional policies, including mapping ocean assets, developing coastal and marine spatial plans and national ocean policies and strategies through active citizen engagement;
- Collaborate with private sector technology companies and education platforms to advance ocean education; and
- Improve OECS ocean data coverage and access through collaborative public-private platforms.
This support will allow countries to better manage natural infrastructure which is the first line of defence against storm surges and damage from rising frequency of extreme weather events, such as the recent hurricanes.
The Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), administered by the World Bank, and will be implemented by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission in close collaboration with the Member States.